by Amy Jones
Wednesday, 29
December 2021
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11:05

Was this the week England stopped worrying about Covid?

Pundits and the public are turning against restrictions
by Amy Jones
Did the booster programme give England a merry Christmas? (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

It is hard to believe that little over a week ago, Boris Johnson’s decision not to impose any new Covid restrictions over Christmas created a media and political storm. Wes Streeting, the Shadow Health Secretary, accused Johnson of being “too weak to stand up to his own backbenchers, many of whom have no plan beyond ‘let the virus rip'”. A Guardian editorial blasted a “reckless” and “incompetent” government.

Whatever the reasons for Johnson’s choice — fear of rebellious MPs, opinion polls that show the public increasingly opposed to restrictions, confidence in the vaccination programme that has given nearly 30 million a booster, or the body of evidence that shows Omicron is likely milder than Delta — it seems that opinion has decisively shifted this week.

Many commentators have concluded that it was the correct choice. Pundits and scientists alike have started to show signs of optimism, with many now openly discussing the shortcomings of restrictions, and the need to resume a normal life. Even Wes Streeting, has changed his tune, admitting this week that “people will be relieved to see no new restrictions ahead of the new year”.

This change has been accompanied by a series of hopeful interviews from prominent academics, underlining the improved picture due to Omicron. This week, Sir John Bell, regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and the government’s life sciences adviser, suggested that Omicron is “not the same disease we were seeing a year ago” and that “the horrific scenes that we saw a year ago of intensive care units being full, lots of people dying prematurely, that is now history, in my view”.

Striking a similarly hopeful tone, Paul Hunter, a Professor in Medicine at the University of East Anglia, described the need to eventually live with Covid, stating that, “This is a disease that’s not going away. Ultimately, we’re going to have to let people who are positive with Covid go about their normal lives as they would do with any other cold”.

Nor, it seems, is this renewed optimism confined to scientists. Piers Morgan, previously scathing of any attempts to avoid restrictions, has finally dispensed with his characteristic pessimism. On Monday, when discussing the latest Covid hospital figures, he tweeted, “But how many are in hospital specifically due to covid and how many tested positive when admitted for other health issues? This is now the crucial data to determine #Omicron impact”.

This is a fair point, and the picture is still mixed, with numbers of Covid positive patients increasing in hospitals, and discharges slowing down, perhaps due to Christmas. Nonetheless, the fact that Omicron is generally believed — by even the most alarmist commentators — to be mild enough that they are willing to reignite the “with Covid” not “of covid” debate, signifies a significant shift in attitudes.

Meanwhile prominent members of iSAGE, such as Dr Zubaida Haque, and medical influencers in favour of restrictions also seem to have sensed the tide is turning. Their last hope to cling on to public opinion has been to argue for a rebrand of the term “restrictions”, with Dr Haque arguing that “Emergency Covid public health measures are not restrictions, they’re protections.” and Dr Julia Patterson, of campaign group EveryDoctorUK adding that, “We need to stop calling public health measures ‘restrictions’… I think we need to frame them differently”.  Predictably, these comments sparked a widespread backlash, with some describing such a suggestion as “desperate and disingenuous” and “silly at best, and sinister at worst”.

Whether Omicron is truly a blessing in disguise remains to be seen. What is apparent however, is a reluctance across the board to return to restrictions, and a renewed willingness to live with Covid. Is the political end of the pandemic finally in sight?

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David Slade
David Slade
4 months ago

Well, scientists (or technocrats, to be more accurate) and politicians have become too addicted to telling us how to live our lives with rules that are often cruel; contradictory and lacking in any objective justification backed by data.

As that was the source of the pandemic abuses (I agree, we shouldn’t call them ‘restrictions’; ‘abuses’ covers it much better), it was only ever going to budge when a tidal wave of public opinion and political pressure produced a feeling in the technocrats that project fear was unsustainable.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re there yet – I saw on the news yesterday that – with the new variant now demonstrably milder – the pundits have resurrected ‘long covid’ to scare people in to compliance. Sadly this is very effective in some quarters (mostly Twitter).

It might be a while yet.

Last edited 4 months ago by David Slade
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago
Reply to  David Slade

“with rules that are often cruel; contradictory and lacking in any objective justification backed by data.”

Just think what you have said, David.

You said the Authorities in Government, MSM and Social Media, and the Pharma Industry have been wrong all the time? Well, they are the most intelligent, with the best experts to advise them – – therefore we must conclude this is what they Wanted to achieve. The greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, from the poor and working, to the ultra wealthy. 3.5 $ Trillion just last year went from USA Gov to the Super-Wealthy, and leaving the debt for the workers to repay, and the poor to pay as well – by the ‘Stealth Tax’ called Inflation.

This is how the $ are transferred to the wealthy and powerful – the Government via the Central Bank spend the money into existence, out of air, and it is paid back by the tax called inflation (which is money devalued, and so the debt melts away, wile the income and savings of the regular people also melt away to pay for the spending, meanwhile the super rich have bought real, and appreciating, assets not troubled by inflation, with the money handed them.)

That 50% – 90% of all covid deaths were preventable, so is tantamount to killing, by early treatment which was prohibited.
https://rumble.com/vr9t7m-uncensored-rfk-jr.-tells-shocking-truth-about-anthony-fauci.html

Excellent link! Fauci and the pharma and Government exposed for the monsters they are, and Very well worth the watch – bit hard to hear at the start, but settles down.

Andrea Re
Andrea Re
4 months ago

I don’t know about England, but I stopped worrying quite some time ago.
What worries me still, though, is what will happen when pi, sigma or tau come along. Will we go through the same iterations as in the past? I suspect so…

Al M
Al M
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

If you reside north of the border, it has been dragging on at a low level for ever and nobody cares now.
I think this can be summed up by a friend’s experience of getting a train from London. On leaving Berwick, the guard announced that everyone now had to mask up to comply with Scottish Government rules. He said the entire train collapsed in fits of laughter.

Last edited 4 months ago by Al M
Andrea Re
Andrea Re
4 months ago
Reply to  Al M

I do reside north of the border, and I am really beyond “past caring”.
I read that Sweeney pleaded with Scots not to go to England to celebrate New year as it would go against the spirit of the regulations. Personally I am too far away the border and I don’t care about new year’s eve, BUT had I been south of Edinburgh or in Dumfries… well…

PS
I am not a Scot, I just reside in Scotland, so I imagine what JS said doesn’t apply to me 😀

Last edited 4 months ago by Andrea Re
stephen archer
stephen archer
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

I am a Scot but don’t reside in Scotland, at least during the last 22 months. Sturgeon and Sweeney for the last 18 months have been overstepping their role and competence in acting as amateur epidemiologists making knee-jerk decisions which are catastrophic for the population. Cases in Sweden are currently going through the roof in the last few days in relative terms but are still at around 30% of those per capita in Scotland.
The most important steps in returning to normality are firstly to STOP PUBLISHING Covid-19 case statistics and secondly to make face masks disappear from the planet, at least for the majority of the population. If any statistics have to be presented, these should be hospital admissions including influensa, cardiac cases and cancers treaments and all other serious conditions. As for face masks, possibly the most damaging measure apart from lockdowns, their effective use and effect in the population is close to zero.

Last edited 4 months ago by stephen archer
Andrea Re
Andrea Re
4 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I have just been to the post office. To my surprise none of the staff wore a mask.

Al M
Al M
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

Funnily enough, I have just returned from the Post Office and had the same experience.

As for your thoughts on Swinney, that seems like a perfectly reasonable way to proceed!

Honestly, the nosebags are the least bothersome thing for me overall. Came by some rather splendid ones in Prince of Wales check and a fetching thistle pattern, so at least I can cut a dash at the supermarket.

Being debarred from having a blether over a couple of pints in the pub, now that was a different matter entirely.
Nearly drove me mad.

Last edited 4 months ago by Al M
Iris C
Iris C
4 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Start the week with Andrew Marr this week started off with stressing the importance of breathing properly. One should always breathe through the nose, (the left hand nostril in particular) but most people who are wearing a mask breathe through the mouth. For that reason (as well as aesthetics and the need to recognise people) masks should not be mandatory. Those with health conditions can choose to wear them, keep their distance from other people AND breathe properly to maximise health benefits.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

“As for face masks, possibly the most damaging measure apart from lockdowns,”

as I have refused the mask from day 1, I have not found it a problem. Even when 99.9% of everyone is masked – I never had one person tell me anything – but I am over 6 foot, wear tradesmen’s clothes, and my face is mostly hair, so maybe they understood this was me actively protesting, and thought that was not worth correcting. BUT!!!

I am watching all my savings melt away because I (wrongly so far) figured the stock market must correct 70%, so it is in cash, and is melting away. That is the worst thing as one cannot ‘opt out’ of inflation.

Sam
Sam
4 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

As long as the central banks are printing, you’re better to try you’re luck in the markets than cash.
Although, I suppose you realize that already.
Once the central banks stop printing (assuming they ever do), then woh Mary, watch out.

Kasia Chapman
Kasia Chapman
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

I hope many Scots will come to England to celebrate New Year and show Sturgeon what they think of her! I will be particularly happy to see front pages with images of lots of laughing ( Scottish) faces with no mask in sight!

Last edited 4 months ago by Kasia Chapman
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

“Against the spirit of regulations.” One would think the justification was preventing the spread of Covid. Another Freudian slip?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
4 months ago
Reply to  Al M

Unless things have changed and I don’t know about it, it is compulsory to wear face masks on public transport in England, so were they all laughing because they were already wearing their masks?

Last edited 4 months ago by Linda Hutchinson
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago

And what happens if you don’t wear a mask? A friend in London wears a visor so she can breathe. Of course it let’s airborne viruses in, but then so do all the cloth and ‘surgical’ masks.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
4 months ago

I’ve never worn one and it’s been fine. I get a kick out of being challenged as I get to practice my rudimentary knowledge of the law.

Al M
Al M
4 months ago

What happens is what happens no matter what you do on the bus: nothing.

I had the misfortune to have someone both maskless and smoking what I assume was heroin out of some tin foil sit behind me not long ago. He was neither reproved nor removed for either misdemeanour.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  Al M

Where is the laugh emoji!

Andrea Re
Andrea Re
4 months ago

It must have happened more than a week ago.

Al M
Al M
4 months ago

This was several weeks ago and there were no mask rules in place on public transport in England. almost nobody was wearing one on the train, or so I was informed.

James Joyce
James Joyce
4 months ago
Reply to  Al M

Perfect! Across the pond, there’ Sleepy Joe Biden photographed walking his new puppy wearing a mask on the beach–ON THE BEACH–along with the maskless “Dr.” Jilly.
When things are going pear shaped, look for Yank leaders to get a dog! Even that won’t save Sleepy Joe.
Let’s Go Brandon!
Finally, anyone on side in my dislike of “Anonymous Amy?” Why is she granted anonymity here–nothing to do with her alleged job “on the front lines–pure political opinion? This is just wrong!

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

I think this is the whole of the problem – even if a nasty variant turns up, surely there needs to be a different approach to lockdowns and restrictions at some point

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

Poor you dealing with Sturgeon.

Dr Stephen Nightingale
Dr Stephen Nightingale
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

What really worries me is what comes next after Omega. Is it Alpha-Alpha, or is it Aleph, or do we go back to numbers as there is an infinite sequence available?

It’s inevitable. Time to get back to life as normal as possible.

D Glover
D Glover
4 months ago

They’re going to name variants after constellations after they’ve passed omega.
There will never be ‘zero covid’ for the inescapable reason that evolution never stops. It’s mutations, like turtles, all the way down.
Happy New Year.

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson
4 months ago

Aleph-null. The first of the transfinite numbers.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Re

“what will happen when pi, sigma or tau come”

Tubes of horse de-wormer are $9 a tube which treats 1200 pounds – 6 one time doses for me. I have them, and querctin, zinc, D, C, stocked. The government and the Powerful who own them are out to change the world to their benefit, do not trust them – everything you were told by the MSM is a lie.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago

I have just started reading the Robert F. Kennedy book on Fauci, Gates, Big Pharma et al. Crimes against humanity.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
4 months ago

Me too. Staggering indictment? The State of Fear is also very important and revealing about the way governments manipulate people,& not just about Covid.

David B
David B
4 months ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
4 months ago
Reply to  David B

Thanks will have a look.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago
Reply to  David B

I JUST WATCHED IT !!!

YOUR LINK IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FROM THE START. A AMAZING LINK!

IT IS A PLANDEMIC.

I HAVE MADE LINKS TO OTHER VIDEOS BY VERY QUALIFIED PEOPLE – THERE ARE MANY – 3 LONG ONES FROM BRET WEINSTEIN ALONE.

BUT 99% ARE SUPPRESSED.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
4 months ago

Even if restrictions are sensible and justified compliance will inevitably slip from day one. The Covid measures have been irrational and arbitrary and hence have never really stuck outside urban areas. I’ve rarely worn a mask and have never been challenged. There are a hard core of ultra compliant individuals who maybe either very anxious or very medically vulnerable but I don’t see many regularly.

Will Cummings
Will Cummings
4 months ago

Soon the call will come down from on high for all patriotic souls to act with the haste befitting dire emergency. The experts shall command the compliant to ditch their protective masks. The strong shall command the meek to congregate en masse in crowded environs. Universal infection with the Omnicron variant will become the new mandate for salvation. Sickness is Health!

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
4 months ago

In time to come the last two years will be seen as a rather strange interlude in our history.